Hari Seldon Has Spoken

Back in the summer, I predicted that The Weekly Standard crowd would head back over to the Democrats if Trump won the nomination. Privately Bill Kristol has been sounding out party big shots about how best to stop Trump. He has hinted at his own plan to bolt the party if Trump won the nomination.  Now the Hari Seldon of neo-conservatism has made it official.

On Monday, Weekly Standard editor-in-chief Bill Kristol tweeted out what the rest of the Republican establishment is thinking: better Hillary than Donald. Here’s the tweet:

Crowd-sourcing: Name of the new party we’ll have to start if Trump wins the GOP nomination? Suggestions welcome at editor@weeklystandard.com

— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) December 20, 2015

Kristol isn’t alone. As I wrote at Daily Wire today, Politico’s Jeff Greenfield says, “If the operatives I talked with are right, Trump running as a Republican could well face a third-party run – from the Republicans themselves.” That follows last Thursday’s Politico column from former New Jersey governor Christine Todd Whitman, who compared Trump to Hitler and called him “evil,” and last Wednesday’s Politico column reporting that Jeb Bush’s aides “began looking into the possibility of making a clear break with Trump – potentially with the candidate stating that, if Trump were the nominee, Bush would not support him.”

Last week, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough said that former Mississippi governor Haley Barbour “and a lot of the Republican leaders would much rather Hillary Clinton be President of the United States than have Donald Trump represent them as a Republican.” And in November, The Hill reported that “GOP establishment donors have confided to The Hill that for the first time in recent memory, they find themselves contemplating not supporting a Republican nominee for president.”

I’m old enough to remember when it was scandalous for Trump not to pledge his allegiance to the eventual Republican nominee. Now, day after day, reports from party leaders leak, stating that should Trump gain control over the party apparatus, they will simply smash the machinery.

Four months ago the same characters now planning to bolt the party made Thanks Dad and The Tart hold a loyalty oath on TV, allegedly to show that Trump was an unreliable splitter and deviationist. For months National Review On-Line has been running daily columns claiming that Trump was not a real Republican because he could bolt the party at anytime. I’m looking forward to Rich Lowry lecturing Bill Kristol about his lack of loyalty.

Despite all the cheerleading for Team GOP and conservatism, these guys were never on our side. Neo-conservatism was always a Progressive heresy, not a conservative one. That’s where the paleocons got it wrong. They saw guys like Bill Kristol as newly minted converts trying to get control of the movement. The reality is the neo-cons were trying to kill the conservative movement and they largely succeeded.

The trouble is, reality has always been on the side of conservatism. A sober (somber?) acceptance of the human condition is the the core of conservatism. The crackpot theories of the invade the word/invite the word crowd we call neocons were always going to break on the wheel of reality. The public will only tolerate so many Farouks shooting up their offices and they will only volunteer so many sons to foreign wars. We’ve reached the limit of both.

I was at a luncheon today with some old school lefties and what struck me was their weariness with their cult. They are sick of the weirdos and grievance mongers. They want to get back to bread and butter issues like defending the working classes against the predatory class and fixing up the country for Americans. They still think government is great, but I could tell they are edging close to ditching the Democrats and the social justice warriors.

This growing schism gets no airing as the cult controls the media, but liberals gotta eat too. You can be the most doctrinaire lefty in town, but when your health insurance jumps 30%, you get pissed at the people who caused it. The on-going crisis of national sovereignty and neo-feudal economics is eroding the old order. Old lefties and old righties have more in common with each other than they have with their so-called leaders.

There’s a long road between now and the time when we lock shelds against the cloud people. When the Hari Seldon of neo-conservatism is threatening to destroy one of the parties, it means the great realignment is not going to happen without a fight. Given that he and the Encyclopedists are the guys in charge, betting against them is probably foolish. But, that’s the fun part of realignments. You never know how they will turn out.

IQ Is Not Real!!!

One of the more entertaining aspects of the genetic age is going to be how the Left reconciles their claim to love of science with the fact that science contradicts most of what they believe. Even funnier is how the soft sciences are finding their authority laughed out of the room by genetics. Here’s a good example.

Genes which make people intelligent have been discovered and scientists believe they could be manipulated to boost brain power.

Researchers have believed for some time that intellect is inherited with studies suggesting that up to 75 per cent of IQ is genetic, and the rest down to environmental factors such as schooling and friendship groups.

But until now, nobody has been able to pin-point exactly which genes are responsible for better memory, attention, processing speed or reasoning skills.

Now Imperial College London has found that two networks of genes determine whether people are intelligent or not-so-bright.

They liken the gene network to a football team. When all the players are in the right positions, the brain appears to function optimally, leading to clarity of thought and what we think of as quickness or cleverness.

However when the genes are mutated or in the wrong order, it can lead to dullness of thinking, or even serious cognitive impairments.

Scientists believe that there must be a ‘master switch’ regulating the networks and if they could find it, they could ‘switch on’ intelligence for everyone.

I doubt you can find anyone in science claiming that only 75% of intelligence is inherited. The general consensus is 90% and there are many who argue it is closer to 98%. But, you have to leave room for the one true faith so we’ll pretend education and parenting have some significant role.

Of course, even if we accept the lower number it means that 90% of education theory is just nonsense. If little Johnny has a native IQ of 85, he’s never going to be college material. The configuration of the school and the efforts of the teacher will not change that enough to make the effort worthwhile.

It also means that all sorts of other cognitive traits are heritable, which is considered heresy by the Cult. Then we have the R word and , well, only Hitler talks about that so science better be careful about how they handle that one. You don’t want to be branded a scientific racist, do you?

All joking aside, much of what we are forced to believe about humanity is under assault by genetics. On the other hand, much of what we used to know is being proved by genetics. People are not blank slates. They are the product of many generations. At some point, it is going to be impossible to be both a Progressive and a scientist.

Even more amusing is that at some point, Progressives will be forced to oppose abortion. After all, if IQ is genetic, so is sex and color and sexual preference. Once parents can test for homosexuality and abort the gay fetus, how long before the Cult moves to stop it? Maybe we will live to see Progressive hipsters picketing Planned Unparenthood.


My Theory of Everything: Part VI

Most everyone reading this is familiar with graph paper. That’s the paper with the little boxes on it. Now, imagine yourself in a world like that graph paper. You are in a room that has four walls and each wall has either a door, a window, or nothing at all. The plain walls range from impenetrable to fairly easy to bust through. You can go through the doors and windows or try to bust through the walls, but you just end up in another room that is a square on the grid. You don’t know what is in each room until you enter it.

Presented with such a puzzle. you could go exploring, looking for the route out of the maze. Let’s make the game more fun and added some dangers in rooms. You will be a lot more cautious about seeing the other rooms. You might take a peek through the door before charging into the next room. I could go on, but you get the idea.

Even without me adding life threatening dangers to the puzzle, your way out of the maze would be trial and error with lots of backtracking. If in your first room you have two doors and those connecting rooms each have two doors, there are four possible outcomes. It is not hard to see how the possible outcomes can multiply quickly.

Now, imagine instead of a simple grid, the maze is like the gaming paper from the 70’s version of Dungeons and Dragons. That’s the hexagonal stuff. Instead of having four choices you now have six options at the start. That means your first decision has thirty possible outcomes. Multiply this out of a few moves and you see how quickly this puzzle becomes very complex. Even after a few moves, you would struggle to retrace your steps without some sort of map.

That last bit is important to understand. Each decision you face is the result of previous decisions. If you make a bad move on step three, but only discover it at step nine, you have an accumulation of bad decisions to contend with before you can get back to the original error. That could be daunting enough to make going backward unrealistic.

The point of this thought experiment is to illustrate how complicated even simple decision trees can become after a few steps. Imagine that each move is decided by a committee that represents the interests of different groups. It’s not just deciding on which box to enter. It is how to decide if that choice was a good choice and then deciding where to go from there.

This is how societies evolve and develop. Even the most autocratic societies make decisions that depend on previous decisions. Kim Jung-un can only choose from the options available to him and those options are the result of decisions made long before he was born. It’s why reductionism should always be dismissed. There’s no great design or plan from which the current actors are working. Every society is playing the hand it is dealt.

This may seem obvious, but analysts are often prone to reductionism, assuming groups are working like individuals. The most obvious example of methodological reductionism is the mythological Zionist conspiracy. Jews are often described as if they are working collectively from a game plan worked out at annual retreats. The reality is that Jews, like everyone else, are working within the constraints placed on them by history. Jews just happen to be smarter than everyone else, on average.

Going back to our puzzle analogy, imagine that instead of a puzzle you can transcend, the hexagon in which you and your tribe exist is where you have always lived, at least in your lifetime. Maybe some of the elders remember a time when your people lived in an adjacent hex. Perhaps your mythology and creation myths talk about some hex at the beginning that lies well beyond anyone’s ability to reach.

In other words, instead of a puzzle into which you were dropped, it is where you have always lived. To you and your people it is not a puzzle. You have no idea it is a puzzle because you lack the perspective to see it that way. Instead, it is your world in the same way the tank is the world as far as the goldfish knows. Leaving the hex, you are in for the adjacent hex is not in pursuit of the way out, because there is no way out.

Now, necessity from time to time will require you and maybe some others to pick up and explore an adjacent square. You have to try something new because the status quo becomes untenable or there is some hope that greater opportunity lies beyond the hex you currently occupy. Again, the options available to you and your clan are the result of similar decisions made in previous generations. History is a nightmare from which you can never awake

Societal evolution may be accretive, but it also happens in fits and starts. If you and everyone you knew were suddenly under some pressure to think about moving to the next hex, some of you could decide to go even further. The need for change opens up a range of choices that were previously off limits. If you’re going to make a change, why not a big change?

We see this in our own lives. When I was a boy, television was a box in the living room and my father cursing on the roof, adjusting the antennae. I recall going with him to the hardware store so he could use the tester to determine which vacuum tubes were dead. In the blink of an eye, I can now watch TV on my mobile phone that has the processing power of the space shuttle.

The thing is my experience with TV as a boy was not all that different from the previous generation’s experience. Kids in the decades after World War II had a consistent material life up into the 80’s and then things started to change rapidly with the microprocessor. The kids of today can’t imagine a world in the old hex of console television, rabbit ears and rooftop antennae.

Think about it. In the 1980’s the fax machine was a whizzbang invention. By the last decade it was obsolete. A decade ago, tapping on a monochrome screen was cutting edge. Today no one remembers the Palm. At the same time, the telephone of 1950 was still in use in most homes in the 1980’s. We think the pace of change today will continue, but history says it will slow to a crawl for a while and then another period of rapid advance, long after we are dead.

The journey of a person, a tribe or a nation is just feeling around in the dark, mostly out of necessity, looking for a solution to current problems. There is no grand plan. The story of humanity in the aggregate and the particular is a random walk. Assigning motives beyond temporary necessity and accident, is reductionism, a structural error in thinking.

Reading Moonbats

It is easy to read and learn about the beliefs of others when those beliefs have nothing to do with your beliefs. Reading about the beliefs of the ancient Greeks, for example, is fun because we know it is all nonsense and it in no way threatens our own beliefs about the world, natural and supernatural.

On the other hand, tune into the Democrat debate show last night and a normal person will struggle to not fly into a rage and throw the remote at the television. It’s not just the lies and nonsense all of the candidates are fond of saying in public. It’s the fact that all of these people believe things that are antithetical to what you believe and even who you are.

As a result, it is very hard to watch, listen and learn. I bet most normal people find it easier to read the pronouncements of ISIS than listen to Hillary Clinton. ISIS makes more sense. You can relate a little bit to what they are thinking and feeling. They want their culture and people to prosper. It’s crazy and violent, but not irrational. That’s not the case with the Democrats or the Republicans.

Anyway, I was thinking about that when this popped up on twitter the other day. I started to read it, but felt coming over me that urge one associates with the smell of spoiled food. It’s the old reflex arch telling your body to get away from something foul. That’s not a habit I try to cultivate so I came back to it with a more clinical approach.

One of the habits I’ve developed is to look up the author of Progressive tirades. They have an odd habit of misrepresenting themselves. The smug sneering is always based in the mistaken belief they are super smart people. Look up their bio and you inevitably learn they were a poli-sci major at a state college. Alternatively, they hold a degree from a private school in a nonsense field like black studies or feminism.

In this case, Salon does some of the work for me:

“Sean Illing is a USAF veteran who very briefly taught political science at Loyola and LSU. He is currently a staff writer for Salon.”

I’m always suspicious of people who list their military service in their bio. This comes from my grandfather who said there are two types of people who wave around their service time. There are those who peaked during the war and those who are lying to you. My grandfather grew up with men who served under Grand Duke Nicholas so he was a little jaded. Still, it is something I have often observed in my own life.

The worst offenders, of course, are politicians. John McCain has been waving around his own bloody shirt for decades. Recently, female politicians have started listing “combat veteran” at the top of their bios, giving the impression they at one time hiked up their skirts, fixed bayonets and went over the top to face the Huns.

Sean Illing, according to his resume, is a fanatic who has struggled to hold a job and gets by writing these screeds for a tin foil hat website. That’s not disqualifying, but it makes it easier to read his posts knowing that he is struggling with reality. It’s why looking up the bio is a good tool for reading material produced by the Left.

What you’ll notice about these guys is they truly believe the Great Liberal Pumpkin is about to rise from the Moonbat Patch and bring about the eschaton. I’ve been reading about the death of “old white men” for forty years now, at least. Back in the Reagan years this was a favorite of Progressives smarting over the rise of middle America. It’s where we got the phrase, “Angry White Males.”

What’s humorous about this is the people predicting the demise of old white people just assume they have escaped the march of time. Sean Illing, faster than he can imagine, will be an old white guy, hiding in his apartment from the gangs of brown people on the streets polar bear hunting.

The other thing that you always see when reading the industrial strength crackpots is the comical hive mindedness. For Sean, the world is a simple place. Inside the walls are the good thinkers. Outside the walls are the bad thinkers, an undifferentiated other about which he knows nothing, other than the fact they are on the other side of the wall. Bees stink indiscriminately for a reason.

If you’re reading this, most likely you are a crime thinker with a head full of hate facts. Despite your evilness, you have noticed that the people outside the Hive walls don’t get along with one another. There is a wide diversity of opinion outside the Hive, while inside it resembles a Hitler Youth camp.

One of the central insights of Steve Sailer is that the current Progressive coalition is way to fringe to hold together for much longer. A coalition of working class ethnics, blacks and rural whites has a lot in common. A coalition of deviants, criminals and the deranged is not a recipe for success. Sean Illing is functional, but you can’t count on guys like that to keep it together over the long haul.

The Stupid Party Collapse

An old paleocon gag, which I think was coined by Sam Francis, is that America has two parties, the Stupid Party and the Evil Party. I recall hearing it in the 80’s, but I could be mistaken. It is one of those pithy expressions everyone wants to take credit for because it becomes more obviously true every day. The budget bill the GOP just passed is a reminder that “stupid” in this context is too kind.

Read the comment sections on news stories about the deal and the general theme is “why did we bother to vote Republican?” The whole point of putting the GOP in charge of both houses was to reign in Obama and begin rolling back his excesses. Instead, we got the opposite. The Republicans have done more for Obama in six months than his own party did in six years.

Most people assume that smart politicians are on the right side of their voters. Stupid politicians go against the wishes of their voters. That makes sense as a practical matter. Scale it up and political parties should be careful to never get sideways with their constituents. Otherwise, the party has no reason to exist. The GOP is the Stupid Party because they keep finding ways to piss off their voters. It’s like they have a death wish.

In 2010 they put an emotionally disturbed drunk in charge of the House after the voters put them in charge. Boehner was a good soldier, but you can’t have your leader sobbing in public. In 2015 they finally had enough and replaced him with a Wisconsin Progressive, who has now declared war on the people that vote Republican. Frankly, calling them the Stupid Party is too kind. They are the Suicidal Party. Even Rush Limbaugh is calling for a third party now.

What we’re seeing is not a two party system, but a single party system. What looks like political debate is really just the call and response one would see in a black church. The Progressive wing does the call and the Conservative wing does the response. Anyone who has been inside a black church understands how the latter half of this relationship is judged. It’s not on rejecting the call.

What we call the two parties are nothing alike. The Democrat politicians are ideologically in tune with their voters and work hard to deliver on their shared goals. They fail a lot, thank goodness, but it is not for a lack of trying. When the Democrats strayed too far from the mission of the Cult, the Green Party sprouted up as a reminder about who is the boss. The Democrats quickly fell in line.

Republicans are a different animal entirely. They exist not as an ideological alternative to Progressives, but as a mild critique of the Progressive wing. That means they can’t exist as a standalone entity. Their existence as a party is ectosymbiotic, defined by their dependence on the other party. The opinion of Progressives is vital to the psychological well-being of the Conservative wing. It’s their food.

As I’m fond of putting it, the GOP is a Southern Party with Northern leaders. In my post yesterday, I compared the American ruling class to the ascendancy class that owned the farmland of Ireland. In retrospect, the analogy holds better with the GOP and its voters. The GOP leadership holds their voters in contempt to the same degree the English held their mick tenants.

That is where the stupidity, or what appears to be stupidity, comes on scene. On the one hand, the party needs to win elections and that means appealing to those rubes they detest. On the other hand, they are compelled by tradition and sentiment to appeal to their analogs in the other party. As the Chinese say, a man who chases two rabbits catches none. In the case of the GOP, they just look like feckless idiots.

A hilarious example is conservative media darling Marco Rubio. He is being flayed over his open borders fanaticism and the deep suspicion he is Chuck Schumer’s rent boy. He’s being whipsawed by the phony-baloney adulation from “conservatives” and the hostility from the rank and file, who despise his open borders treachery. To use a crude expression, he does not know whether to shit or go blind.

Compounding his dilemma is the fact that he is as dumb as a goldfish. I’m fond of calling Rubio Ms. South Carolina with a penis. No, that’s not a link to Lindsay Graham’s website. Rubio gets by on his looks and charm, which is fine if you’re selling Cadillacs in Boca Raton, but it is a liability when trying to run for President in these crisis times for the party.

That’s why Rubio skipped the vote on the budget bill. There’s no safe answer so he spent the day playing Halo and listening to hip-hop. That non-vote just ended his career as a politician. Who will vote for him now? His presidential campaign will now collapse and he has already decided to give up his Senate seat. He’ll land in some lobbying gig or in a no-show Wall Street job, but he is finished as a politician.

That is the fate awaiting his party.

The New Containment

The policy of containment, with respect to the Soviet Union and the Cold War, evolved at the end of World War II and into the post-war period because the other options were not practical. Sending the US army to push the Russians out of eastern Europe would have been an impossible sell to the American public, assuming it was even possible. Dropping a nuke on Moscow would have been a public relations disaster.

On the other hand, simply letting the Russians dominate Europe was out of the question politically, even though many within the American ruling elite were communists. There had to be a way to keep most of Europe free that did not result in a war with Russia. Containment was the near perfect solution. It kept the Russians in check, created thousands of jobs for the Yankee elite and fed the military-industrial complex.

That’s not intended to imply that the people who crafted and developed the Western response to the Soviets thought all this through in advance. It just evolved into the best solution. At the onset it scratched the itch, the need to respond to Soviet aggression, but over time it proved to be flexible enough to accommodate the needs of various constituencies within the ruling class.

The funny thing about the Cold War is it preserved the American ruling consensus long after the facts on the ground justified it. The public was not going to support overturning the apple cart as long as the threat of nuclear annihilation was very real. That naturally made anyone advocating great change a threat and they were easily painted as a hothead or commie.

The result was a self-policing where the Left kept their commies in the lower ranks and the Right kept their hot heads out of sight. Within living memory, a ridiculous fop like Barak Obama would have been kept in the community organizing department where he could not cause trouble. Of course, fear of nuclear annihilation kept the public from questioning the arrangements, even if meant keeping the black man down.

Since the end of the Cold War a quarter century ago, the ruling elites have lost their footing, staggering around like drunks. In Europe, the main parties are imploding into a single party relying on skullduggery to overcome a lack of purpose. The recent French elections demonstrate their willingness to lock shields to preserve the status quo, even when they can’t come up with reason for maintaining it.

In America, the Democrats are a party for men in dresses and women in muumuus. The Republicans are the land of misfit toys, politicians just not weird enough for the other team. The ructions in the GOP primary reveal the party establishment to be hollow men with no reason to exist beyond habit. The Democrats look like God’s waiting room, an old pinko in a pantsuit versus an old an old pinko in pants.

For the past few decades, there’s been no real cost to excess, but that’s changing as the demographic explosion on the fringes of civilization threaten the West with an invasion of barbarians from over the horizon. Islam presents both a cultural and demographic challenge. Africa presents a demographic and biological challenge. So far, the ruling elites have failed to come to terms with this looming threat.

It strikes me that the rise of “far far far extreme right wing” parties in Europe and the rise of the “extreme right wing racist Donald Trump” in America may turn out to be a catalyst for how the ruling class responds to the next great challenge to civilization. While abandoning anti-racism, multiculturalism and egalitarianism is unthinkable, all three can be shoehorned into a new policy of containment.

Keeping the Mahommedan bottled up in his own lands, a new policy of containment, has obvious practical benefits to the West. Capping off Africa by making the Mediterranean a real barrier to entry (and maybe bribing the countries of the Maghreb), helps solve the African explosion as well. The Arabs would simply refocus their attention on making the Sahara a natural barrier again.

At the same time, containment means not mucking about in the affairs of the Mahommedan. In the Cold War, the West left the Eastern Bloc to the care of the Soviets. They had their sphere of influence and we had ours. The new containment would follow the same model. Let the Mahommedan manage his lands as he sees fit, but keep him bottled up in those lands, behind a technological, cultural and military curtain.

The benefit to the ruling class is it gives them a natural reason to exist. They are holding back the tides and sensible citizens will not want to risk that by supporting fringe candidates. It also brings back the natural self-policing that comes from permanent war. The Left will suppress their one-word fanatics, while the Right will keep their invade the world nutters under wraps.

Of course, the military and the diplomatic core will have plenty of reasons to get money and jobs for their people. Muffy Pemberton can pop out of Harvard and take a job in the diplomatic core, while Dwayne Haskins can make a career out of standing guard at the boarders. The Yankee ruling class gets the band back together, just focused on a different enemy. They can even, wink-wink, argue about which side has the best approach.

The sales pitch can center around the fact that it is more effective to send aid to these people than it is to resettle them in the West. There’s also the benefit of keeping their best and brightest in their home countries so they can help develop their societies. There’s the obvious safety angle, keeping the Mahommedan from exploding in your local coffee shop. It’s an easy sell with obvious benefits.

Containment. It’s not just for commies anymore.

Queen Sive Oultagh’s Children

If you pay any attention to American politics and you can look past the shouting and hand waving, you’ll notice that both parties are strikingly similar. In the House, the leader of the Democrats is an old woman from the most left-wing congressional district in the country. The Republicans are led by a strange little man from one the most liberal states in the country. Wisconsin is the ancestral home of the Progressive Movement.

As I pointed in my award winning post on the voting nations and America, the Republican Party is a southern party with northern leaders. Those northern leaders are thoroughly disconnected from their voters, but thoroughly connected to their analogs in the other party. America has been run by a Yankee coalition since the Civil War and we are now in the midst of a Yankee Crackup.

The ructions in the primaries are entirely due to the yawning chasm between the people and their rulers. Donald Trump is leading in the polls because he is a rebuke to the party leadership. A long time ago I compared him to Beppe Grillo, who was similarly dismissed as a clown and a publicity stunt until his party started winning elections. Even now, the European political elite dismisses these populist movements.

Dismiss is not really correct, though, is it? In Europe, Merkel is making war on the native population by actively encouraging a Muslim invasion. Whole German towns have been turned into Arab ghettos overnight. The reason seems to be nothing more than spite. The evidence is as clear as day that the people do not want this, so what other reason is there for pushing a policy that the people despise?

Now we are seeing something similar happening in the US. The budget pushed through by Paul Ryan is not just bad politics. It is a contradiction of everything he promised just a month ago when he got the job. It’s as if he deliberately assembled a bill that contradicted everything he promised just to stick a finger in the eye of his own voters. The reason to think the point of this point is to spite his voters is the immigration stuff. How else can you interpret such an outrageous betrayal?

Anyway, this latest insult to the people by their “representatives” got me thinking about the Irish Potato Famine. In America this event has largely been flushed down the memory hole because the Irish-Americans find it embarrassing. An estimated one million Irish died from famine within half a decade. Millions more simply fled the country for the rest of the English speaking world. Ireland lost 25% of its population in five years.

Historians blame the famine on a number of factors, but it was the political arrangements that set everything in motion. Oppression of Catholics by the English resulted in a system where the farm land was owned not by Irish, but by English landlords who lived in England. These absentee landlords relied on middlemen to collect rents and enforce their rights against an indigenous population that was trapped in a feudal system.

We live in a different age, but we are facing something similar in America where the financial elite are entirely divorced from the rest of America. They flit around between financial and political capitals without much contact with the people. They are the new ascendancy class and their middlemen are the political parties, who enforce the rules and guard their interests.

The Irish Famine was directly the result of a potato blight, but what should have been a minor disruption in farming was turned into a disaster by a break in the normal feedback loop in a society. The ruling class were slow to react and indifferent to the initial suffering, because the Irish were not their people. They may as well have been Bantus living in an African jungle. Politics then, as now, was local and all the politicians were across the sea, instead of talking to their people.

America is not going to be struck by a potato famine, obviously, but we are being hit with an immigration disaster and a looming financial disaster. The ruling elite is plundering the country and indifferent to the people. Instead, they rely on politicians like Paul Ryan to enforce their orders and collect their rents. The rents in this case are indentured servants brought in to displace native workers. Instead of being throw off the land, Americans are being thrown out of their jobs.

Historical analogies are never perfect. There’s no sign of Ribbonism or Whiteboyism breaking out in America, but who knows what tomorrow will bring. In some respects, the websites and podcasts of the dissident right are filling the role of those Irish secret societies. Our rulers and their middlemen are hardly aware that we exist. What they do know about us tells them we are trouble and must be suppressed.

The Death of Islam

If you lived in 11th century London around the time when Harold Godwinson was making the mistake of leaving too many troops in the north, your life was rather shabby compared to the life of a man living in Damascus or Samarra. This was the Golden Age of Islam. The Muslims were on the cutting edge of commerce, math, science and economics. If you were looking down from above, Islam looked like a winner.

Granted, the Muslim advance into Europe had been halted, but they still controlled large parts of Europe and controlled the Mediterranean. As a practical matter, just in terms of peace and prosperity, Islam looked like a superior model to what existed in Christendom and Asia. It was not just at the top either. Literacy rates, and life expectancy were much higher in the caliphate than anywhere else.

Fast forward 200 years and life in London would not have changed much. The typical peasant would have had a life similar to his ancestors under someone like William the Conqueror. To the East, however, little guys on ponies had defeated the armies of Europe and were poised to drive all the way to the Atlantic. The armies of the Batu Khan had smashed the Rus and were ready to ride to Paris.

To the south, those same guys from Asia were sacking Baghdad, burning its libraries and murdering most of the male citizens, while impregnating the females.  Historians estimate that a million citizens of Baghdad were killed in one week. The destruction was so massive, the population of the region did not recover until the 19th century. The Mongol Invasion ended the Golden Age of Islam.

By the 14th century, Islam was still dominant in what we call the Arab world, but it was not producing or even augmenting an ascendant culture and people. In fact, as the culture of the Near and Middle East collapsed, it took Islam with it, turning it into a tool for jostling between clans and tribes. The Muslims held on militarily through the 20th century, but that was largely due to the Turks and their long involvement in Europe going back to antiquity.

Even so, by the late Middle Ages, life in the typical European village was not that much better than life in the typical Muslim village. If you just looked at the top, the Ottoman Turks looked strongest, but the seeds of decline were apparent. While the West was on the cusp of great technological, cultural and financial revolutions, the Ottomans were still running a system Diocletian would have understood.

As the West moved from the Middle Ages into the Early Modern Period, it was about to rocket ahead of the rest of the world technologically, culturally and military. The typical villager in Europe was living a vastly more prosperous life than his contemporary in Baghdad or Tripoli. The religion, the culture, the demographics and even the climate all came together to produce what we know to be the modern world – in Europe.

Islam never made it out of the Middle Ages until Western prosperity overflowed its cups and brought material wealth to the Arab world. Even so, Iraq is still a Medieval society equipped with satellite dishes and mobile phones. Their culture, economics and politics remain locked in the amber of a bygone age. Even their revolutionaries sound like extras from a B-movie about the Crusades.

That’s not just a reality we in the West accept. It is a reality that every Muslim from the Arab world faces and grapples with every day. The culture that produced him lost to the culture that confronts him. No one stands in line for the latest Muslim mobile phone. There is no Muslim Silicon Valley. The armies of Allah throw rocks at the space ships and lasers of the infidel. To be a Muslim is to be a loser.

That daily reality is in his pocket when he looks at his cell phone. It is on TV where all the actors wear Western clothes. It is in his house where his sister demands to wear makeup and live on her own, dating men outside the family. Even at mosque he is reminded that he is on the losing side of the fight. He rides a Western made bus or drives a Western made car. He texts his coreligionists on an Apple iPhone, not a Mohammad Phone.

There is an argument that Islam is on the rise. As we see Muslims pouring into Europe and even America, the argument goes, Islam is like rising flood waters, about to wash away the West. That misses what’s happening at the roots of Muslim culture. Every one of those Muslims is on a journey that will end as it did for John the Savage in Brave New World.

The Muslim defines himself by his family relations. He is everyone who came before him. His culture is their culture and their culture defines him. Those Muslims on the road to Berlin can either abandon themselves and their identity in order to join their new world, or, they can embrace death. The self-detonation phenomenon is just a dramatic way of choosing the latter.

The thing is, both choices have the same implication, the death of Islam as an organizing philosophy. Just as the Muslim is faced with the reality of assimilation, Islam is faced with the same choice. Islam can cut itself lose from its past and embrace the material world of Western culture or it can blow itself up in a last final act of vengeance against the victor. Either way, Islam is dying.

The Sunni-Shia war that is centered in Syria is perhaps the way forward so Islam can evolve and become a workable mode of thought in a modern technological world. Like the Thirty years War, maybe old Islam is burning itself out and what comes next is a lighter, personal version of Islam. The Thirty Years War left large chunks of central Europe depopulated and others reduced to cannibalism so these transformations carry a heavy price.

Islam is collapsing and it could very well take the rest of us with it. The central challenge to leaders of the West is how to manage this civilizational collapse, which primarily means containing it. The past year has been about piety contests over who can invite the most Muslims in for settlement. The coming decade will be about who can keep the most Muslims out of the West.


The Economics of Unreality

One of the stranger things about modern life is the rise of economics as a quasi-religion in the West. In another age, the rulers would run to the local witch doctor or oracle before making a big decision. Closer to our age, leaders would pray for guidance, maybe talk with a holy man. Today, the pols run to economists for advice on everything.

What makes it particularly humorous is the shamans of economics are more wrong than the old witch doctors. The reason is the modern economist really thinks he is a man of science, while the old witch doctor knew he was a fraud. Of course, the witch doctor also knew he faced the sword if he went too far out on a limb, so he was careful to never get carried away.

Economists have no such fear of being wrong as being wrong is good for the guild. The more things get screwed up due to their bad advice, the better the employment prospects for the profession. Lucky for them, they get most everything wrong, so the racket is a serpent eating its tail.  A good example is here in this Wall Street Journal article.

Federal Reserve officials this week are expected to raise interest rates for the first time in nine years on the expectation that employment and inflation will hit targets reflecting a healthy U.S. economy.

But Fed officials face a troubling question: Jobs are on track, but inflation isn’t behaving as predicted and they don’t know why. Unemployment has fallen to 5%, a figure close to estimates of full employment, while inflation remains stuck at less than 1%, well below the Fed’s 2% target.

Central bank officials predict inflation will approach their target in 2016. The trouble is they have made the same prediction for the past four years. If the Fed is again fooled, it may find it raised rates too soon, risking recession.

Low inflation—and low prices—sound beneficial but can stall growth in wages and profits. Debts are harder to pay off without inflation shrinking their burden. For central banks, when inflation is very low, so are interest rates, leaving little room to cut rates to spur the economy during downturns.

Full employment? No one walking around America thinks we are anywhere near full employment. Anyone older than 40 should remember the booms of the 80’s and 90’s when employers were offering bonuses to new hires and employing headhunters to poach workers from other firms. That has not happened in a long time.

Of course, the labor force participation rate is at a 38-year low. Some of it is certainly due to demographics. We have more old farts on the dole due to the boomers hitting retirement, but that’s just starting as the first boomers hit retirement. The stunning truth is there’s an employment boom among the geezers. It is the young struggling with the stagnant job market.

That’s one bit of unreality. The other bit is the zero inflation stuff. I’ve gone around and around with economists about chain weighted inflation and the logic applies here. Granny may have substituted dog food for ground beef, but that does not mean inflation is flat. Similarly, every retail container has shrunk over the last decade, even though the prices are generally stable. Shrinkflation is a real thing we all see every day of our lives.

Putting aside those two complaints, which are always dismissed by economists as ridiculously based in observable reality, there is the confidence they have even in the face of being wrong. Exactly no one in the economics profession saw the crash coming and now they can’t figure out why they can’t re-inflate the world economy. But being wrong is juts proof we need more economists!

The site where I saw this story linked had a comment from someone mentioning The Modigliani–Miller theorem in rebuttal to some other comment. For those unfamiliar with that particular tarot card, here’s the definition:

“The basic theorem states that under a certain market price process (the classical random walk), in the absence of taxes, bankruptcy costs, agency costs, and asymmetric information, and in an efficient market, the value of a firm is unaffected by how that firm is financed.”

Therein lies the fundamental problem with economics and why it is not a STEM field. The entire profession is based on “all things being equal” or “in the absence of observable reality” statements that would get you laughed out of an empirical field. The only field that is close in the use of hothouse logic is climate science.

None of this is to say we should dismiss economics out of hand. In fact, the statistical study of human behavior should be a part of public policy debates. Where every economist goes wrong is in thinking he has found the philosopher’s stone once he finishes his first statistics course. As a result, the field never gets better. But when there is good money in being wrong, why be less wrong?

It is a pity because we will probably have to go through a near death experience before we figure out the mistakes. The Great Depression finally taught the West that the money supply also includes outstanding credit. The modern economic profession is not learning anything new, despite the fact we have experienced the greatest technological leap forward since the wheel on top of a revolution in credit.

Will They Miss Me When I’m Gone?

A while back I posted about my plan to dump my TV subscription. One obvious reason for cutting the cord, probably the one most cited by surveys, is the expense. Americans are seeing their TV bills jump every year averaging something close to $150 per month in some areas. There’s simply no way to justify it so people are cutting the cord and relying on services like Hulu and Netflix.

Another reason, I suspect, is cultural. The great upheavals we are seeing in politics across the West are over a common divide. On one side are people who wish to maintain their traditions and customs. They embrace material advances, but they also embrace the cultural heritage that has made those advances possible. For us, the past is not a foreign country. It is our country.

On the other side are the people who hate everything about the present, seeing it as an impediment to their quest for the glorious future. The past that produced this horrible present is a nightmare from which they can never awake, which is why they seek to smash it all to bits. Tradition is their cage and they want out, even if that means destroying themselves and everyone else in the process.

Watch American television for any length of time and you can’t help noticing the proselytizing in favor of the wrecking ball. I turned on the NFL yesterday and it was endless chatter about the wonderfulness of Cam Newton, the Carolina Panther QB. Despite being a mediocre player, his team is undefeated, due entirely to its defense. But Cam is black so he must be hoisted onto our shoulders and paraded around as a hero.

What’s galling about this nonsense is people, who know better, play along because they fear losing their career if they are not sufficiently enthusiastic. Instead of pointing out that Newton is just not screwing up as much as usual, but is otherwise mediocre, they lay on the praise as only a fearful supplicant can do. Sporting events have been turned into preaching moments and I’m sick of it.

Having had enough of the preaching, I wheeled around the dial thinking I should see if there is anything I’ll miss when I drop TV. I saw a commercial for a show called Supergirl. The 30 second ad made clear it was aimed at people with the IQ of a goldfish. It also made clear that it was just more proselytizing. We are endlessly barraged with agit-prop telling us how wonderful 20-something white women are at everything and how hard it is for them because of the Pale Penis People.

I can probably ignore that nonsense, but you can’t even see a decent movie because they keep insisting on making Vagina Power movies like the Hunger Games and now Star Wars. Yep, Star Wars will now make the hero a gal who defies the laws of physics by beating up all the men. It is one thing to suspend disbelief but being asked to accept an 80-pound girl throwing around a 250-pound man without the use of magic is a bridge too far.

What I find intolerable about this trend is not that the female is the action hero. It’s that all the men are now pussies. According to our cultural overlords, the ideal white man is a bisexual wimp who is led around by the nose. I’ll grant that foppishness is more common today, especially with the young, but that’s a result of the Progressive kulturkampf. Television is not a reflection of the culture, it’s the whip used on the culture.

I think what has put me over the edge is the new habit of ad makers to feature mixed race couples. I guess they think every white man in America dreams of bringing a black man home to the old lady. They never feature a white guy and a black woman. It’s always a black guy and a white woman and it is most certainly on purpose.

The most egregious example is the Audi ad where the old white man is puttering around the house listening to the weatherman telling him the storm is shutting down all the roads. The visual tells us he is waiting for his family, but the storm means he will be left alone to eat cat food. Then the family bursts in because their Audis let them brave the snowstorm and see grandpa.

It looks great until we see that the grandkids are black and the son-in-law is the reason. The message they are sending could only be clearer if the son-in-law was speaking a foreign tongue. Audi is telling all the old Pale Penis People out there that their day is done. If they want to have a peaceful death, they better lie back and accept it.

Yesterday, I saw an ad where a couple, black man and white woman of course, is camping with their kids. One kid is black and one is white. Maybe this is supposed to be the new Brady Bunch. Maybe the ad makers are unfamiliar with the basics of biology. Then again, the howling at the moon lunatics producing this stuff think biology is a social construct. What matters, the only thing that matters to them, is the message.

It’s not the mixed race stuff that bugs me. It is the ham-fisted proselytizing that sends me over the edge. At least make the kids look like the product of a mixed race marriage. If they were honestly trying to sell their vision of the future, I could at least pretend it is negotiable. But that’s the point they are trying to make. It’s not negotiable and you better get used to it.

That’s really what has done it for me, I guess. The people in charge are so smug, so arrogant, they don’t even try to make their case anymore. It’s just a non-stop blaring of the megaphones. In North Korea they have a PA speaker in the center of every village, screaming out propaganda. In America, we have installed these things in our homes. It turns out that the hippies were partially right. It’s time to drop out.

They will miss me more than I’ll miss them, now and in the glorious future they imagine without me.